Airports: The New Trade Hubs in Emerging Markets

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Recognizing the importance of aviation sector in improving country’s economy, emerging markets have been steadily upping their investments in airport and related infrastructure.

Dubai World Central - ATC
Air Traffic Control terminal at Dubai World Central. Airports in emerging markets act as the new trade hubs. Photo-Dubai Airports

The new developments at emerging markets airports are setting a benchmark in the world for airport infrastructure. The storming growth experienced in the GDP of some African, Asian, American and Middle East markets has strong relation with the boom in the aviation sector in these countries. Striving to satisfy the growing travel and cargo demand, these countries have laid ambitious plans for airport cities like Dubai World Central, which will be the largest airport in the world with augmentations like a planned city, shipping facility, and business hub.

Projects at various airports in India, Africa, South East Asia and Americas make an over US$ 150 billion market in the world. According to the recent IATA outlook on 2014 the air traffic in Asia Pacific is expected to see a modest improvement of gains of US$ 3.6 billion which will be largely depending on the cargo performance by the countries in Asia and Middle East.

MENASA countries focus on airport investments

In order to meet the increasing demand in aviation and related industries as well as to cater to their expanding economies, the Middle East North Africa and South Asian (MENASA) countries have embarked in various airport infrastructure projects.

Knowing the fact that aviation industry in countries like UAE contributes almost 14 per cent of the GDP and foreseeing the opportunities, airports across Middle East have mega projects like Midfield Terminal (Abu Dhabi), New Terminal at Bahrain International Airport and the Madinah Airport in Saudi Arabia. Recently Oman government also unveiled plans for expansion at Salalah International Airport. Similar initiatives are planned in African continent too, Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria plans for Abuja Aerotropolis and other projects in Africa like expansion of Kotoka International and Maputo International Renewal are also considered to take the African air transport into new heights. The Asian countries including China, India South Korea and Japan also have sky cities and airport cities planned.

Middle East carriers are expected to post a US $2.1 billion profit (their highest ever) and the African airlines are also expected to return a combined profit of US$100 million. The small and emerging airports also play a vital role in these countries by serving billions of passengers. Small Airports in Asia-Pacific region alone handled 240 million passengers, about 12 per cent of the region’s total traffic in 2012.

Leapfrogging the traditional expansion models, the Airport in emerging markets are offering a complete package from hotels to golf course to business centres, which are equipped with the latest technology. The Investment opportunities in these markets are endless with most of these airports opening their doors for PPP, BOT and privatisation modes in development and operational stages.

The Emerging Airports Conference and Exhibition 2014

The Emerging Airports Conference and Exhibition 2014 will focus on Emerging Market airports expansion and modernisation. The event will showcase latest technologies and also provide a platform for networking with key officials and discuss solutions.

The event is expected to see participants from Africa, Middle East, Russia, Indian subcontinent and Iraq, who will discuss possibilities and business models.

9th-10th April 2014,
Hall # 5, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (ADNEC)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Show Timings:9.00hrs – 17.00hrs

More information can be found at:

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